Portrait of Madrid’s Royal Botanical Garden workers

Author & photos: Thomas Bedwin

The Royal Botanical Gardens in Madrid turned 278 this year, and has become a living museum with over 5,500 living species. Since its founding, it’s also been a centre for scientific research with a vast library of over a million flora samples which are constantly being exchanged with other research centres across the globe.

Inside the gardens is the Mutis collection, a trove of over 7,600 hand-drawn botanical illustrations organised by José Celestino Mutis during the Royal Botanical Expedition of the ‘New World’, 1783-1816.

The former director of the Garden, Esteban Manrique describes his time leading the garden as “the cherry on top of my career.” The director must be a leading scientist in a related field, and Esteban will carry on his research at the Garden.

Maria-Paz Martín Esteban, the new director, and second female in the Garden’s history highlights that it’s a “…huge privilege to be director of the Botanical Garden, and also exciting to be a reference for other women who want to work in these types of positions.”

This small selection of photographs is from an exhibition by Tom Bedwin @tjbedwin (@theveganagency) celebrating the workers behind the Botanical Gardens.

On display inside the @rjbotanico now!

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